Depending on which part of the world you go to bed at night in, you are feeling the effect of the Corona virus at varying levels
For some, it’s restricted to the battle for sanitizers. It has graduated in some places to the mad grab for tissue paper. While on the extreme end, some are cocooned due to the stay-at-home order by government to contain the spread.
These are the voices we hear often. But the most affected who have remained silent are those who have contacted the virus. All those other concerns pale in comparison for them as they continue to live with the hope that they will overcome the virus
There has been a whole load of questions on why Africa, in spite of its often-told story in western media of poor health facilities, is keeping the virus at bay
Africa on the Safe Edge
Someone sent out an article claiming that the African has some inherent immunity to the virus. Another person trying to keep Africans from shouting “hip hip hurray” put up a story that her cousin a medical personnel of African origin in his 30s died from the virus.
As a Christian & a Nigerian, I have been waiting for that oft repeated response that we Africans default to. Someone first mentioned it in a WhatsApp group I’m on. And now a leader in the church has come out to say it.
Their response – “Coronavirus impact in Africa is minimal because we pray and fast in Africa”.
I smile when I read this.
It’s the same reaction I have when my Caucasian friends say that there is revival in Africa because of the huge crowds attending church-themed events. That is a conversation for another day
When Why is Hidden
Back to the original matter
I think it is premature to think that African Christians have got the magic code to keeping out the Corona virus. Having been born and raised in Nigeria, I see no relationship in the church-themed activities that most of us African Christians mouth and the lives we live.
Having studied scriptures, I have come to understand that church-themed activities are meaningless to God if our everyday lives does not celebrate a godly lifestyle.
All you have to do is read the Isaiah 58. At a point, God even gives a quick rebuke in case they feel loud and proud about fasting.
“ Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.” Isaiah 58:4 NIV
In Nigeria, you could have a man lead a Biblestudy or prayers, leave service and con the next customer that walks through his door. The apples are not all bad but they don’t all taste great
As a result, I refuse to believe that Africa is keeping Corona virus at bay due to continual prayer and fasting. I think it is due to something more sovereign.
A Lesson From King David
At a point, God decides to punish David and the people of Israel by sending an angel to effect the punishment of death.
David had choose this option because he said he knew that it is better to fall into God’s hand because He is full of mercy.
And as it turns out, God decided to show mercy and stop the angel as he was about to start with Jerusalem (2 Sam 24:16)
It had nothing to do with anything the Israel in Jerusalem or King David did. God decided to show mercy. He also gave them a way to stop the overall judgement on the land
“ David built an altar to the LORD there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. Then the LORD answered his prayer in behalf of the land, and the plague on Israel was stopped.” 2 Samuel 24:25 NIV
And I think that the Corona virus story in Africa has more to do with God’s mercy than anything Africans have done or are doing.
When Africans Stand
But there is something that Christians in Africa can do.
We can pray for mercy. Mercy not only for Africa but also for the rest of the world.
God’s mercy will open the door for a halt in the spread. It will also open the door for a solution.
African Christians must not be like the Pharisee thinking that God hears them because they fast and pray. But we must all embrace the confidence that we have in God’s mercy to stop the Corona virus
We may not know the source of the virus – man made or animal transferred. But we can all agree that we need it to stop.
And that is why we need to come to God to ask for His mercy. It may be a tool of His judgement or it may just be one of freaks of nature
How We Respond When Corona and Others Strike
As I write, God seems to be serving Africa a wake-up call as the numbers seem to be rising in the continent. I think we have reached a time when we need to collectively seek and find mercy from God.
But this is not a cop-out from doing the work of trying to find a scientific cure to the virus or taking action to protect the spread on the infection.
All these matter – The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD. (Ps 21:31 NIV)
And that is why we all need to continue praying.
When God shows mercy by holding back the plague, we must also pray for protection & wisdom for those at the forefront of people care and research.
And we must also be ready to show the people around us the Christ-love that we are born to offer.
Perhaps it was for this reason that God planted us in the countries where we find ourselves – When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel (Deu 32:8)
Sodom & Gomorrah was not destroyed just because of the evil in it. It was destroyed because of the lack of good men in it.
We are in the nations we are in so that God can have a reason to bless them. And these times offer us a great opportunity to do just that
We fight for our countries on our knees – we fight for victory
We fight for God’s destiny for our countries.